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FOR RELEASE: April 29, 2004
CONTACT: Pamela Williams
Office of Communications
405/271-5601

Nurses: Your Voice, Your Health, Your Life
Celebrate National Nurses Week, May 6 -12

The Oklahoma State Health Department (OSDH) salutes the work of America's 2.7 million registered nurses who save lives and help maintain the health of millions of people. There are about 28,825 registered nurses in Oklahoma, of which almost 1,000 are public health nurses.

The theme of this year’s National Nurses Week, May 6-12, is “Nurses: Your Voice, Your Health, Your Life”. The week begins on May 6, marked as RN Recognition Day, and ends on May 12, the birthday of Florence Nightingale, founder of nursing as a modern profession. In honor of National Nurses Week and RN Recognition Day, registered nurses around the country are encouraged to wear the official RN Pin.

“Join us in honoring the nurses in your community for their professionalism, dedication, compassion, hard work and high standards,” said State Health Commissioner Dr. Michael Crutcher. “From bedside nursing in hospitals and long-term care facilities to in-home care and research facilities, the nursing profession continues to meet the growing and ever-changing needs of the health care system,” Crutcher said.

There are more than 196,000 advanced practice nurses in the United States, of which 1,260 are in Oklahoma, and research indicates they can provide 60 to 80 percent of primary care services at lesser costs, which is becoming even more important in many medically under-served communities.

With the renewed emphasis by public health on primary and preventive health care, better utilization of all the nursing resources in Oklahoma is needed. Health officials predict that the demand for registered nursing service will soon be greater than ever because of aging baby boomers.

If you are interested in learning more about the nursing profession, contact the Oklahoma Nurses Association, 405/840-3476, or visit this Web site: www.oknurses.com .

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